North East England has been recognised as a UK flagship for good design. This will take a lead on design in the whole of the North of England. It will, for example, bring together new developments in science and technology with design. Design excellence in the region has been long established by the work of Northumbria University’s Design School. The Design Innovation Education Centre is the development hub for the emerging discipline of service design and innovation. Digital Factory, meanwhile, offers industry training, technology support and rapid prototyping to assist with product development.
Courses on offer at the renowned Northumbria University Design School and other regional universities include industrial, graphic, multimedia, 3D, automotive and design engineering. The Centre for Design Research at Northumbria University provides professional design practice consultancy in industrial, interaction, interface and service design, which is research-led and informed by a multi-disciplinary approach. Its research is focused on growing: design practice knowledge, innovation processes and management, healthcare products and services, new-media design and design learning. The University of Teesside has a long standing reputation for delivering creative, innovative and exciting courses. Areas of particular expertise include industrial/product design, architecture design, graphic design, design marketing, contemporary lifestyle and furniture design, packaging design, transportation design, visualisation, virtual reality and computer games design.
There is also an International Centre for Excellence for Nanotechnology, Micro and Photonic systems working to seed collaborative R&D programmes as platforms for near market commercialisation opportunities. By linking together the key science and technology drivers with additional inputs from art & design, engineering design and nanomaterials enablement, the Centre is able to form a broad market-led product landscape with results ranging from solid state lighting, portable power, i-textiles, smart packaging and wearable sensors.
Support is on offer to companies at different stages of the investment process from early stage to new technology and high growth. Companies may be able to access government schemes including location based funding as well as grants and tax credits for undertaking research and development to aid in Business Opportunities UK.